Instructor training

workshop photo
Photo courtesy of Aleksandra Nenadic.

With growing demand for workshops across the UK, there is a need for more qualified Carpentry instructors. The Institute is therefore working with The Carpentries to run instructor training events, based on a curriculum designed by Greg Wilson, the founder of Software Carpentry.  

What is Instructor Training?

Instructor Training is an intense two-day workshop during which participants learn and discuss a variety of teaching techniques. The curriculum is based on research in education and pedagogy, with an emphasis on the “best practice” of teaching computational skills based on educational research and how it can be used to help people learn better and faster. 

The training provides participants with essential skills for  teaching programming, but also teaching in general.. 

Instructor training does NOT teach how to program in R or Python, use Git, or any of the other topics taught in other Carpentry lessons and workshops. Instead, it covers topics such as course and lesson design, the psychology of education and how the learning process works, managing a classroom, motivating your learners and avoiding demotivating them, dealing with challenges as a teacher, building a community of practice around teaching and so on. It also covers the value of feedback and learning how to provide it as well as how to receive it - feedback is meant for teachers as much as it is for students.

Part of the instructor training also focuses on Carpentry-specific matters such as use of the The Carpentries' infrastructure for setting up workshops and contributing to training materials, becoming part of the community, and the ways in which people can get involved.

Who is it for?

Instructor training is primarily aimed at those who want to become certified Carpentry instructors - completing the training is one of the key components of qualifying as a Carpentry instructor. However, owing to the universal design of the training curriculum, it may be of interest to anyone who is works in education, or organises and teaches any courses, not only in scientific computing, and who wants to become a better teacher. 

How to sign up

Instructor training is centrally managed by The Carpentries. Partnering institutions have annual quotas in terms of how many instructors they can train per year and typically have a dedicated Instructor Training for their site. If you belong to a partnering institution, the best way to get involved is to get in touch with the local programme coordinator to see when the next instructor training session is going to be. 

You can also apply online to become an instructor directly with the Carpentries. This form can be used by people who wish to become instructors but are not associated with any partnering institution and by people who come from partnering institutions.

As a Platinum partner and UK Carpentry coordinator, the Institute has its own annual allowance that lets us can train a certain number of people and gives us some flexibility in planning and running these events. Instructor Training events organised by the Institute are advertised on the Institute's website and on Twitter, as well as on the Carpentries website.

Spaces tend to fill up very quickly so it is good to sign up as soon as you know you can attend. You can also indicate your interest in attending training by putting yourself on our waiting list - you will be given priority next time we run an event. It is also possible to run instructor training for a particular group within one organisation or a consortium. If you are interested in hosting such an event, please email us for more information.